Should I Go to Urgent Care for Angina? 

person rolling bed into ambulance
Written by: Jennifer

If you’re experiencing chest pain and wondering should I go to urgent care for angina, you’re not alone. It’s important to know when to go to the emergency department and when you can safely wait for an appointment with your primary care physician.

 While angina can be a serious condition, in many cases it can be treated with rest and medication. Here are a few things to consider before heading to an urgent care center. 

What is Angina?

Angina is a medical condition that causes chest pain or discomfort. The pain occurs when the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina can be a symptom of coronary artery disease.

Angina can be either stable or unstable. Stable angina is the type that is most common in patients. It occurs when the heart is working harder than normal, such as during physical activity.

Unstable angina is rarer but more serious. It can occur without physical activity or be brought on by mild activity. It may feel different from stable angina and can come on more quickly.

Angina should not be confused with a heart attack. A heart attack happens when the blood flow to your heart is completely blocked (mainly due to heart disease), and angina is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when the blood flow to your heart is reduced.

Is Angina Life Threatening?

Angina is a condition that causes chest pain due to reduced blood flow to the heart. Angina is not usually life-threatening, but it can be a symptom of a more serious condition (such as a heart attack).

If you experience pain in the chest, it is important to see a doctor, so they can rule out any other potential causes. Treatment for angina typically includes lifestyle changes and medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to improve blood flow to the heart. With proper treatment, most people with angina live normal, healthy lives.

What Are the Symptoms of Angina?

Angina symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people may only experience a mild discomfort, while others may have more severe pain.

The most common symptom of angina is a squeezing or tight feeling in the chest that lasts for a few minutes. Sometimes people with angina describe the pain as a dull ache, heaviness, tightness, pressure, burning, or squeezing sensation. Some people say it feels like an elephant sitting on their chest. Others say it feels like someone is trying to rip their heart out of their chests.

This discomfort may also be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. Angina pain often comes on with physical activity or emotional stress and goes away with rest or nitroglycerin, a medication used to treat angina.

Other symptoms of angina can include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible, as they may be indicative of a more serious condition.

Angina is usually a sign of CAD. However, it can also be caused by other conditions, such as:

  • Aortic stenosis: This is a narrowing of the aorta, which is the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the body.
  • Mitral stenosis: This is a narrowing of the mitral valve, which is a valve between the left atrium and left ventricle (two chambers in the heart).
  • Pulmonary hypertension: This is high blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs.
  • Pericarditis: This is an inflammation of the sac around the heart.
  • Anemia: This is a decrease in red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. 

When Should You Go to Urgent Care for Angina?

In general, you shouldn’t wonder when to go to urgent care for angina. If you think you may be experiencing angina, don’t be thinking, “Can urgent care diagnose angina?”, see a medical director at a medical center immediately. While angina is not usually a life-threatening condition, it can be a sign of a more serious problem.

If you have unstable angina, you should go to the emergency medical room immediately, as this could be a medical emergency.

If you have stable angina, you may be able to manage your symptoms with lifestyle changes and health care as mentioned earlier. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen despite these measures, you may need to undergo further testing or treatment. Your doctor can determine the best course of action based on your individual situation, including emergency medicine if necessary.

Medical care for angina often involves lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet. Medications, such as beta-blockers and nitrates, can also be used to treat angina and prevent future attacks. Surgery may be necessary to open blocked arteries.

Looking for more information on heart conditions and treatment options?

Should I go to urgent care for angina? If you’re experiencing chest pain, especially if it comes and goes and is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or nausea, it’s important to seek medical attention from your primary care doctor. While the cause of your symptoms may not be angina, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get checked out at your nearest urgent care location.However, if you’ve been diagnosed with angina and are looking for an alternative to traditional treatment methods, flow therapy may be a good option for you. Contact us today about whether flow therapy might be a good choice for managing your angina symptoms.

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